Here are photos of some of the costumes from the movie Penelope. The costumes were designed by Jill Taylor.
The following is a snippet from an article with Jill Taylor from SEE Magazine.
British Costume Designer Jill Taylor was initially briefed by director Mark Palansky on the look and style he wanted to achieve with the costumes for each of the characters, "When I met with Mark he had some great ideas and he had all this visual reference on his laptop that he wanted to incorporate into the look. We also worked in conjunction with the actors" explains Taylor, "I always like to get their input".
"When Christina came for her fitting we had shopped for her and she felt that some of the costumes weren't how she'd visualised Penelope so we got some shapes and ideas together and I went shopping again and bought a load of new stuff. I always value what the actor says, it's a case of give and take then hopefully they are happy on set and feel comfortable. That's my aim. They have to look right of course but they also need to be comfortable and happy".
"My brief from Mark about Penelope was that she's lived in her own little world all her life. She's had no outside influence and has never really been out of her room as she's been hidden away by her parents. We tried to put things together for her in a sort of quirky `other-worldly' way. That's very difficult to do because when you look around the shops, everything has been done to death. It's either retro or whatever you do has been done in some shape or form somewhere before".
"So, we took lots of ribbons, braid, buttons, brooches and cross-stitching and decorated pieces for her, so as to give the impression that she'd customized some of her clothes herself. Things have turned up in her room and she plays with them -- she's very inventive and quite eccentric and adds bits and puts things together in her own unique way. Mark wanted to incorporate his original art work for Penelope, so we had these quirky tights and shoes and things put together in a weird way. The other factor we had to take into account was Christina's size as she's a tiny lady. You have to be careful what you give her so you don't overwhelm her, so we followed the tights and the shoes but we kept them plainer in colour".
For the wedding dress that Christina Ricci wears, Palansky wanted something similar to the Chanel dress Nicole Kidman wore in the commercial that Baz Lurhman directed her in. "He wanted that kind of floaty feel to it when it moved. We couldn't find ostrich feathers because we were on quite a tight budget, so we found shredded chiffon in a shop in Berwick Street in London's Soho. That gave the desired effect of floating and I did him a drawing for Mark and that's how we arrived at the dress. Christina also quite liked the idea of a corset which I'd drawn, so we put that over the skirt".
The wedding scene was obviously quite a significant one for Taylor to design the costumes for. "The whole thing about this piece is that it could be set anytime, any place, anywhere, so we didn't want to make it too English" explains Taylor. "I naturally veer towards `Oh it's a wedding, mother of the bride should have a hat' but at American weddings, a lot of people don't wear hats". Catherine O'Hara plays Penelope's mother Jessica and wore an Armani jacket and top and Taylor and her team made the skirt that accompanied it. "It was a copy of a Vivienne Westwood skirt actually but it's just toned down".
One of the scenes that provided the greatest challenge was the Halloween party scene, "Because of a timing thing, my poor trusty assistant Charlotte and I were making Christina's Halloween outfit over night for the next day! Mark had had an idea and wanted something different but I always assumed it was a continuity outfit from a previous scene and a couple of days before we shot it he said she should be in something different. So I did a drawing for a coat and Charlotte and I were up most of the night making and then decorating it. Mark loved it and asked when we'd finished it and I said, five minutes before she put it on!"
For the complete article visit SEE Magazine and click on "More info for movie geeks".
These pictures are for research purposes only.
Misc. Penelope Costumes:
Red Shirt/Brown Skirt:
Penelope's Wedding Dress: (unfortunately there are not many pictures of this dress at this time)
Here is a webiste featuring a very short article about the dress being auctioned off for charity. You can find it here.
Random Penelope outfits:
There are more pictures at the following websites:
Christina Ricci Fan Gallery
Official Movie Site